chasing answers newsletter #68
On my mind
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
As I mentioned last week, I took a small break from writing this summer, and other than a few audiobooks I listened to on some long drives, I took a break from consuming information as well.
Those long drives and some solo time in the kayak did give me plenty of time to think, though. And that can be dangerous. I have a lot of half-baked thoughts and ideas, so over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be dumping some of them in your lap. Maybe some of these will eventually blossom into full-fledged essays or at least something more buttoned up than what I’m about to share now.
Then again, maybe they won’t.
My inability to do everything on my list has made me wonder if I’m just really bad at time management. I’ve never felt like this was an issue of mine, but lately, I’m questioning it. When I look around, it seems like some people are getting 10x more shit done than I am.
By writing that, I’m not insinuating that I think the solution is for me to follow every goddamn Twitter productivity account. In fact, the solution is probably just the opposite.
I am, however, starting to get curious about how others manage their time. But, I need to be selective about who I talk to. No offense to all the single people out there without kids, but if you’re thinking in your head right now, “It’s easy to find time to get things done if those things are important enough to you,” you can keep that advice to yourself. I used to have plenty of time to do shit too.
However, if you are someone who has a full-time job, spends a couple of nights a week at your kids’ practices, loses an entire weekend here and there to gymnastics competitions, is managing a side hustle or two, serves on the board of two organizations and acts as the treasurer for another, and still manages to check everything off your list, then you’re in my demographic.
If that sounds like you, hit me up. I'm interested in what you have to say.
Nothing Is Original
As I said above, I did manage to listen to a few audiobooks this summer, and I’m more convinced than ever that 98% of everything on Twitter (and probably social media, in general) can be traced back to like six books.
The fact that everyone borrows from everyone else when creating something is no secret, and we’ve all heard the popular phrases, “imitate, then innovate,” “steal like an artist,” and “good artists copy, great artists steal.” Still, I feel like we’re abusing the privilege to borrow.
I know some of you will say it’s no big deal and it’s always been that way, but it does make me wonder what new ideas we aren’t discovering or thinking about because we are constantly reiterating someone else’s.
Are the Kids Alright?
A few weeks ago, I walked in on a conversation between my daughter and some of her cousins. One of them was showing off her new fitness tracker and explaining to the others how she had taken more steps and burned more calories than most of her friends that month.
She’s fucking ten.
I don't think I would have been any more appalled if I had walked in on them watching porn on their Ipads.
Remember when ten-year-olds just went outside and played? When they burned so many calories from playing sports all day or riding their bikes, they could eat all the junk food they wanted and never gain a pound.
I place fitness trackers right up there with social media in the downfall of our society.
Everything we do doesn’t need to be turned into a goddamn spreadsheet and compared to our neighbors.
The fact that a ten-year-old thinks about steps and calories is insane to me. Kids should just be living. And if the lives they are living aren’t naturally taking care of the things a fitness tracker is meant to track, strapping a device to their wrist to remind them to move isn’t solving the problem.
We are turning everything into a task, a chart, or a goal that needs to be achieved. And it’s trickling down into our kids' lives. I worry that we aren’t far away from kids thinking that going outside and playing is something you do to increase the numbers on your fitness tracker, not something you do because it’s fun.
And in case anyone is wondering, I do own an Apple watch, which can act as a fitness tracker. But I don’t think I have ever looked at my steps taken or calories burnt or minutes exercised once in the five years I’ve owned one. I only got one because I rarely carry my phone with me on the weekends when I leave the house, and my wife got sick of being unable to get ahold of me. So, I got an Apple watch with built-in cellular connectivity. But the battery only lasts several hours when not connected to a phone, so I’m usually just wearing a really expensive bracelet.
The lids on the McDonald’s McFlurries are one of the worst designs of all time.
Photo(s) of the Week
An early Saturday morning walk through the park.
I hope you all have a great week!
If you want to see more of my work, please visit chasinganswers.co.
Thank you for reading, and if you liked what you read, please share.